The “one metre plus” social distancing rule is set to be ditched under plans to throw a lifeline to venues including restaurants and theatres to let them properly fling their doors back open to customers from summer.
The ‘one metre plus’ social distancing rule could be ‘scrapped in June’ so pubs can reopen fully[/caption]
Cinema and theatre goers could have to wear masks during performances even after June 21[/caption]
It’s understood there will be strict rules on ventilation and staggered entry to cinemas and theatres, with audience members required to wear a mask during performances, according to the news outlet.
For restaurants and pubs, it’s thought they will need to keep one-way systems, screens, and the need for customers to wear a face covering when not seated.
There will not be a limit on customer numbers, however.
It comes after it was revealed only 226 Covid outbreaks have been linked to pubs and restaurants throughout the whole of the pandemic
A government source told the Times, however, that bigger events will still have a restriction on numbers.
A source said “If you’ve got 90,000 people in a stadium, it’s going to be very difficult. It was always quite ambitious to go to 50 per cent but we’ve told Uefa we’re working on a 50 per cent basis.”
A series of pilot events – including a music festival in Liverpool – are being held to provide data on how gatherings can be permitted to safely reopen as restrictions ease.
“The pilots have shown us that mitigations have worked sufficiently to allow us to remove social distancing at least in the settings that we really need to in order to get them in a viable position again.
“The kind of thing we’re looking at is keeping in place mask wearing, extra ventilation, staggered entry — all of that has been shown to have worked so far.”
He said “safeguards” will remain in place until after lockdown lifts on June 21 – the final phase of the roadmap.
Mr Raab told the BBC’s Andrew Marr: “We want to get to a position at the end of June where we can get life back to as normal as possible but there need to be some safeguards in place.”
When asked what additional measures might be need still, he replied: “It will be around distancing maybe there will be something around masks but I don’t want to prejudge it.”
Experts have previously said face masks could become the “new norm”, with Professor Lockdown claiming they may be around until next year due to new Covid variants.
But he argued “steady steps” are needed as he urged Brits to take caution over the next few months.
“By the time we get to June 21 almost all social restrictions will be lifted so there’s only a little bit more time to go, but it’s right to make sure we do that in a careful way.”
And the next step in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown is set to go ahead on May 17.
From then, Brits can sit indoors in the pub or someone’s home and overnight stays are permitted.
Britain’s borders will also be reopened for international travel in 16 days, with “a handful” of approved countries published as soon as Tuesday.
If cases remain low, all restrictions should be able to be lifted by June 21.
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